What about the message I have heard since I was a child? That I should “Ask Jesus into my Heart”? Is it Biblical? It sounds kind of weird when I really stop to think about it…
We have all heard it taught. It is taught to children in Sunday schools, private Christian schools, and in Christian homes across the land. It is taught as being the Gospel message, the plan of salvation, and in modern times it is even presented to adults as such. What I am talking about is the message “You need to ask Jesus into your heart”. With so many preaching this message as the gospel, would it not be wise to verify that it’s truly biblical? I have found that very, very few in our modern Christian culture have ever dug into the Scriptures to verify this message. That is what this article will attempt to do, but many who read this will take offense that an article like this has even been written. “Why is someone questioning the gospel message?” they will ask, “My Church has taught this message for years. Surely this author is trying to spread doubt and false doctrine!! It isn’t even worth reading such negative and questionable articles!” But please read what Paul warned us Galatians:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8)
This is a HUGE warning not only to beware of false Gospels, but also to be very diligent in biblically verifying the message we present to others. So won’t you please stay and read this article? This is not a topic to be dismissed casually or taken lightly!
There are two groups of people that hold to the “Ask Jesus into your heart” message (which from here forward I will refer to as the “Heart” message for the sake of brevity) as being the Gospel message. The first group of people consists of those that believe it truly is the Biblical message. The second group of people are those that acknowledge that the message isn’t taught anywhere in the Bible, but feel it is a good, modern way of delivering the more wordy and theological message that is found in Scripture. By now, many of you will have concluded that I the author hold the view that the “heart” message is not found in Scripture, and you’re right! The reason I am of that opinion is because… well… it isn’t found in Scripture! But I understand that there are those who argue this point, so the first thing we need to do is take a good look at the three proof-texts that are usually used when defending this message. The first passage we usually hear in support of the “heart” message is found in Revelation 3:14-22…
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
The underlined portion is this passage is often quoted when delivering the “heart” message. But please note the context of this passage. This is a letter from the Lord Jesus to one of His churches. He is writing to His people… to Christians!! He is disgusted with their lukewarm state and, because He loves them, is warning them that discipline is coming if they do not repent. He is telling them, “Wake up! I am knocking on the door right now… don’t bring discipline down on your own heads!” The phrase, “I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” is a promise of fellowship, friendship and intimacy if they as a local church obey the call to repentance. Do you notice anything missing here? There is absolutely no mention whatsoever of the heart, nor of salvation! In fact, this was written to believers, so the subject of salvation isn’t even being addressed! When verse 20 is Read more »